I manage a local hotel and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners?
- Published on Sunday, 02 June 2013 16:15
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I manage a local hotel and I constantly struggle to find and keep good people. Are there any programs available to help small business owners? Singed, Hopeless Hotelier
Alberta’s unemployment rate has dropped to 4.5 per cent—the second-lowest rate in the country—and there are 10,000 more Albertans working today than a year ago.
While this is good news for job seekers, the ongoing challenge of attracting, training and retaining staff in a competitive labour market can be exhausting for hiring managers.
And the staffing challenge is only expected to get tougher as waves of our most experienced workers begin to retire.
Due to our growing economy and aging workforce, Alberta is expected to face a shortage of up to 114,000 skilled workers within the decade.
Fortunately, there are a number of free and low-cost services available to help Alberta employers.
Try posting a free job ad on the Canada-Alberta Job Bank web site at www.jobbank.gc.ca.
Take advantage of free local job fairs and hiring events. Employer Connections events, for example, are mini job fairs that allow you to profile your business and job opportunities to local career counsellors and job seekers http://humanservices.alberta.ca/jobfairs.
Check out the staff attraction and retention tips in the Employer Tool Kit http://eae.alberta.ca/labour-and-immigration/employer-toolkit.aspx.
Post a free job ad or find out about upcoming job fairs and staff-recruitment workshops for employers on local Alberta Works social media channels, including:
Red Deer: www.facebook.com/CentralAlbertaJobs
Fort McMurray: www.facebook.com/fortmcmurrayjobs
Medicine Hat: www.facebook.com/MedicineHatJobs
Or get in touch with your local Business and Industry Liaison. Alberta Human Services has Business and Industry Liaison staff who specialize in helping employers tackle staffing challenges and navigate all of the available employer services.
A Business and Industry Liaison can you help by:
· Providing information on how you can tap into hidden labour pools;
· Offering helpful publications full of staff attraction and retention tips;
· Informing you of upcoming low-cost staff recruitment best practice workshops;
· Guiding you toward useful statistics like wage surveys and labour market forecasts;
· Explaining how the Disability Related Employment Supports program helps employers hire and retain employees with disabilities; and
· Connecting you with local hiring events and opportunities.
Get in touch with your local Business and Industry Liaison today and put their expertise to work for you.
Call your nearest Alberta Works Office and ask to speak to a Business and Industry Liaison. You can find the Alberta Works Office nearest you by clicking on: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/offices.
I’m adding an outdoor patio to my café this summer and need a little extra help. I am considering hiring my 13-year-old nephew, but I’m wondering if there are any issues related to hiring someone that young?
- Published on Friday, 24 May 2013 11:14
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
I’m adding an outdoor patio to my café this summer and need a little extra help. I am considering hiring my 13-year-old nephew, but I’m wondering if there are any issues related to hiring someone that young? Signed, Anxious Owner
Summer jobs are a great way for teens to save money for a car or their post-secondary education. Jobs also help kids learn critical employability skills, good work habits, and the true value of a dollar.
Young workers are covered by the same employment standards, e.g., holiday pay and minimum wage, as other workers, but there are some special rules employers should know when it comes to employing people under the age of 18.
Adolescent Albertans, aged 12-14, can work in the following approved jobs:
- office messenger or clerk;
- delivery person (e.g., flyers, flowers);
- retail store clerk (e.g., music store); and
- certain jobs in the restaurant and food-service industry, with restrictions.
Permitted food-service industry jobs include: host/hostess, cashier, dishwasher, busser, server, customer service, order assembler, and cleaner.
But, they can not accept work that may harm their life, health, education or welfare. For these reasons, adolescents can not:
- sell liquor in licensed premises;
- work between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.;
- work during normal school hours;
- work in areas where smoking is permitted;
- work without continuous adult supervision;
- work for longer than two hours on a school day;
- work for longer than eight hours on a non-school day; or
- use or work near dangerous equipment such as deep fryers, grills or slicers.
A Safety Checklist of Adolescent Employees in Restaurant and Food Services must also be completed and signed by the employer, adolescent and parents before the young worker can start working.
Adolescents may be able to take on other jobs, but the employer, adolescent and his/her parents must first apply for a permit, jointly, to employ an adolescent. Employers and parents are responsible for ensuring that adolescent workers are competent and safe.
Employers are required by the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Code to keep young workers safe by:
- completing a written hazard assessment;
- controlling or eliminating all safety hazards;
- ensuring the health and safety of the employee; and
- warning the adolescent about any hazards that may affect him or her.
Teens, aged 15 to 17, have fewer restrictions and are free to take on more types of jobs, but they are subject to special conditions as well.
Alberta Human Services has published tip sheets for employers and parents on hiring younger workers, which are available at: http://humanservices.alberta.ca/working-in-alberta/5369.html.
If you have any more questions about employing younger workers, call the Alberta Employment Standards helpline at 1-877-427-3731 or visit http://employment.alberta.ca and click on Safe and Fair Workplaces under Working in Alberta.
My son works for a small construction company. It’s frustrating to hear that he works in unsafe conditions at times, without proper equipment, supervision and training. Who is responsible for ensuring his safety?
- Published on Tuesday, 21 May 2013 11:12
- Written by Super User
Dear Working Wise:
My son works for a small construction company. It’s frustrating to hear that he works in unsafe conditions at times, without proper equipment, supervision and training. Who is responsible for ensuring his safety? Signed, Worried
Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Your son is responsible for working safely, helping keep the workplace safe and watching out for co-workers.
Employers must comply with the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act, Regulation and Code, including:
- Keeping equipment in safe working order;
- Properly labelling and storing dangerous chemicals;
- Informing their workers of any dangers on the job site;
- Developing safe work procedures and ensuring workers follow them;
- Ensuring workers perform their duties as required by the OHS legislation;
- Arranging for medical assessments for workers exposed to specific hazards.
- Monitoring workers who may be exposed to hazards such as chemicals or noise;
- Ensuring workers have the training and experience needed to do their jobs safely.
- Take reasonable care to keep themselves and co-workers safe;
- Wear personal protective equipment required by their employer;
- Take and follow health and safety training provided by their employer;
- Follow health and safety work procedures developed by their employer;
- Refuse work that may put them or another worker in “imminent danger”;
- Report unsafe or malfunctioning equipment to the employer immediately;
- Avoid tasks they are not competent to do unless they are being supervised.
Reporting workplace injuries to WCB-Alberta
For employees working in workplaces covered by workers’ compensation, there are separate requirements for reporting injuries to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). These requirements are covered under the Workers’ Compensation Act, which is different from the OHS legislation. For more information and access to WCB publications and forms, go to: www.wcb.ab.ca
The Government of Alberta promotes safe and healthy workplaces in a number of ways, including:
· Leading Work Safe Alberta: a strategy to strengthen and expand partnerships amongst employers, workers and government to make our workplaces safer;
· Partnering with safety associations, industry groups, employers, educational institutions and labour organizations;
· Recognizing employers who have developed a health and safety management system and met established standards with a Certificate of Recognition.
· Enforcing the OHS Act, Regulation and Code through inspections, investigations and prosecutions;
· Publishing OHS statistics;
· Supporting North American Occupational Safety and Health Week (NAOSH), May 5- 11, 2013; and
· Educating employers and workers through free online training and public awareness campaigns, including: Before It’s an Injury, Bloody Lucky, etc.
If your son has a concern about safety at work, he should raise it with his supervisor. If his concern is not taken safely, he can call Alberta Occupational Health and Safety, toll-free, at 1-866-415-8690 for advice and information.
For more information and tips on safe and healthy workplaces, visit http://humanservices.alberta.ca/ohs.